Thailand again. Home of pad thai, Phuket, packed minibuses, ping pong shows, party islands, papaya and Pattaya. We were here for Khao Sok. The national park situated in and around Cheow Larn lake.
The day was spent in Bangkok gorging ourselves with delicacies such as curried noodle soup, papaya salad and coconut cakes. We treated ourselves to a massage for 3 quid until we had to hit the road at 6 that night to Surat Thani. From there we would be picked up by numerous different modes of transport, being herded around like cattle and eventually making it to Baan Khao Sok where we would spend the night. We went tubing along the river with the omnipresent lime stone cliffs sculpting the landscape around us. That night we had a delicious home cooked thai curry and pineapple rice, booked our ticket for the lake the next day and got an early night in our river bungalow.
The next morning we rise early and set off to the lake. After the minibus we pile on to the long-tail boat-Quintessentially thai- and head out to the bungalows. We arrive at our destination and fall in love straight away. We get a bungalow each floating on the water, held up by tree trunks and covered in algae. We wasted no time in jumping straight in the warm, fresh, turquoise water. We sat for lunch enjoying everyone's company and talking previous travel conquests until it was time for the hike to the cave.
We trekked though bamboo coated jungle, splashed through rivers and ducked under fallen trees (probably the same kind that are holding up our temporary home). We arrived at the cave with the smell of bat s*** and equip with a torch. We navigate through stalagmites, dodge through stalactites and drench ourselves in the fresh water which at times is up to our shoulders. When we emerge out the other end we trek back to bungalows.
That night after dinner we went out on a night safari. Charlotte and I had little expectation; with plausible cause. I mean the noise of the engine will scare off any animal within a 5 mile radius. However the boat ride itself was a walk on water at night time under the stars which we weren't complaining about. That night we fell asleep blanketed by a million stars.
The next morning we rose with the sun had an early morning dip and set off into the park on the boat once more. The jungle was astir at the crack of dawn, condensation intoxicated the morning sky as we skimmed the water in search of search of some illusive wildlife. We spotted some long tailed macaques, gibbons and birds perched on the dead trucks that pierced the water.
After breakfast it was time for another hike. We climbed to a vantage point at the top of the island, found our way through another cave and headed back down for lunch. When lunch was devoured Charlotte and I couldn't resist a go on the rope swing, throwing ourselves in the warm water below. After a great trip with a great group we headed back to Surat Thani. We visited the night and and crashed for an early wake up. We get to the bus stand and argue with the toothless guy for a while about what we paid for and where we're actually going. So we made our way to the border with no promise that we would actually make it to Kula Lumper, where we had originally booked it for. By some sort of miracle we made it to KL. On to Perth from there.....